Last month Australian Mining reported on how Coal and Allied (Rio Tinto Coal Australia ) won the BOC National Award for Safety and Health Innovation for 2006 for a clever, yet simple solution for reducing injuries to maintenance staff: the Grease Pressure Release Gun, or ‘Stored Energy Assassin’.
However, the innovative device was just one of eight innovative solutions indicative of high levels of innovation in the minerals sector.
Dragline Tub High Voltage Plug – BMA Blackwater
This innovation has eliminated the need to access the dragline tub (confined space) to change out high voltage trailing cables. The final design is a simple rolling mechanism that allows the plug connection to be unlatched with a special tool and then rolled out of the tub on rails.
The Cutting Edge – Alcoa World Alumina Australia – WA Mining
This innovation has redesigned the cutting edges on Caterpillar 637 & 657 scrapers.
The modified cutting edges and redesigned bolts allow the employees to replace the edges without the previous risks of strains/sprains, heavy equipment and ergonomic issues. This innovation represents a simple and effective solution with a large potential for adoption throughout the Australian minerals industry and beyond.
Heavy Equipment Radiator Cap Removal Tool – BMA Norwich Park
This innovation has resulted in an inexpensive, simple and effective tool that has eliminated the risks associated with opening a radiator cap on heavy machinery while it is under pressure or of a high temperature.
Low-wall Management System – Thiess/Xstrata – Mt Owen Mine
This innovation was recognised for the effectiveness of a strategic plan developed to address the management of an active low-wall failure, while maintaining mining operations with no risk to persons and equipment.
Drill Bit Gauging Tool – Beaconsfield JV
This innovation was acknowledged for the significant reduction of risk associated with drill bits and grinding wheels while ensuring accurate and effective gauging of drill bits.
The VAST Project – Argyle Diamond Mines
This project was acknowledged for its innovative implementation of technology to adapt existing work instructions and procedures into video format that demonstrates clearly to existing and new employees, the ‘Argyle’ standards of competence.
Elimination and Reduction of Risks Associated with Drill Core Processing – Ballarat Goldfields
This innovation was acknowledged for the rigorous design process undertaken in the construction of a new drill core shed. This is an example for all industries on how to undertake an effective design process and achieve outstanding results.